The Netflix film Birdbox debuted earlier this year and was a massive hit for the streaming service. The film stars Sandra Bullock as a mother trying to transport her two children through a post-apocalyptic wasteland while unable to use the power of sight.
One of the most prominent features of the film’s final act was a location known as the Janet Tucker School for the Blind. Watching the film may lead viewers to question whether or not the film’s climactic location exists in real life.
Let’s take a closer look at what happened in the film Birdbox and whether or not the school featured at the end of the film actually exists.
The story of Birdbox unfolds in a non-linear format. Sandra Bullock plays Marjorie, a reluctant mom who’s expecting a baby. As her sister drives her home from a doctor’s appointment, an unseen monster begins causing people to immediately commit suicide upon seeing it.
The only way to avoid it is to not look at it – effectively blinding yourself. The survivors have to get creative to avoid seeing the monster. Some wear blindfolds or keep their eyes closed. Others black out the windows of a car when they have to travel.
Marjorie ends up barricaded in a house with multiple strangers. The story flashes back and forth between that and the present day, where Marjorie transports two children from their hideout to a place they’ve heard about through a transistor radio. Along the way we see her resolve tested.
The Janet Tucker School for the Blind
Marjorie is able to successfully shield the eyes of her and her children from the monster. They arrive at their final destination: Janet Tucker’s School for the Blind. The final irony of the film is that the differently abled are now advantaged in this new society in which these horrible monsters terrorize those with the ability to see.
It’s the closest thing a story like this could get to a happy ending. The Janet Tucker School for the Blind is a sanctuary for Marjorie and her two children. It’s full of flowers, grass, singing birds, and smiling, happy people.
It’s a somewhat upbeat ending for a film that up until that point had been unceasingly bleak.
Is the Janet Tucker School for the Blind a Real Place?
In the film, the Janet Tucker School for the Blind is depicted as being in the middle of a forest, near the end of a long and winding river. It appears to be significantly separated from society. There are no cities or major metropolitan areas anywhere near it, making it a great location for the story’s hero to rest after spending the entire film on the run or in hiding from the monsters.
The film never provides an exact location for Janet Tucker’s School for the Blind, though the film itself takes place in northern California. By all accounts, it is not a real school. It appears to have been invented strictly for the purpose of the film. It does not exist in the novel – one of the several major differences between the film and the book.
Birdbox was a major hit with a twist ending that portrayed the disabled in a positive light. While the film had plenty of scares leading up to that point, it ended happily with the main character and her kids seeking refuge at the Janet Tucker School for the Blind.
While the Janet Tucker School for the Blind depicted a positive, happy environment for the blind children to learn and grow and the school as it existed in the film was located somewhere in the forests of northern California, the school does not exist in real life. It was invented as a plot device for the film.